Photo: Mohua, Craig McKenzie.
The endangered mohua has been crowned Bird of the Year in Forest & Bird’s ninth annual poll. Green-party co-leader and mohua campaigner, Metiria Turei successfully launched this little known bird into the limelight with the catchy catch-cry “vote mohua, not monorail.” Habitat destruction, predation and climate change has reduced the range and population of the mohua. Once abundant in the South Island in the 1800s, the mohua now lives in a few forest patches in Otago and Southland. Forest & Bird’s southern branches have been instrumental in restoring a population around the Catlins.